In the wake of the horrific attacks orchestrated by HAMAS on October 7, which left an estimated 1,400 Israelis dead and over 220 taken hostages, the Israeli public and government officials are casting a spotlight on Russia's unsettling alliance with the terrorist group. Outrage has intensified following Moscow's reception of HAMAS delegates with open arms and ostensible honours, raising severe questions about Russia's role in the recent surge of violence in the Middle East.
ХАМАС в Москве / Mikhail Japaridze / TASS
HAMAS, designated as a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States, and the European Union, has a long history of perpetrating violent acts aimed at Israeli citizens. The attack on October 7 marks one of the group's most gruesome acts of terror to date, involving mass slaughter, abduction, and a relentless barrage of rocket fire.
The Israeli government is publicly acknowledging what many have suspected: HAMAS did not act alone. Evidence and regional geopolitics indicate that Russia, through its recent actions, is perceived as a driving force behind HAMAS's offensive. Not only did Russian officials meet with HAMAS leaders post-attack, but the Kremlin's rhetoric and alignment with the group's allies suggest a complicity that has not gone unnoticed in Tel Aviv.
As Israel reels from the October tragedy, the message from officials is becoming increasingly strident: once the threat of HAMAS is neutralized, attention will turn to those who enabled them. Prominent voices within Israel, including members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's party, are calling for direct action against Russia. "We're not forgetting what you are doing," stated Amir Weitmann, founder and chairman of the libertarian caucus in Netanyahu's Likud party. His statement echoed the sentiments of a nation in mourning, resolved to hold not just HAMAS but also its patrons accountable.
Amir Weitmann on Russia Today TV. Source: Russia Today
The meeting between HAMAS officials and Russian authorities, including Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, comes as a stark reminder of Moscow's position in the conflict. While the Russian government claims its engagement is aimed at negotiating the release of hostages, including Russian citizens, the Israeli public remains sceptical. The high-profile reception of HAMAS delegates, coupled with Russia's history of diplomatic engagement with the group, does little to assuage Israeli fears of Moscow's support for the terrorists responsible for the death of their loved ones.
Moscow's welcoming of HAMAS representatives, treating them as legitimate political actors, starkly contrasts with the international outcry against the terrorist organization's actions. This diplomatic gesture has not only drawn the ire of the Israeli government and its citizens but also raised alarms globally. Countries and entities who understand the clear and present danger posed by HAMAS are watching Russia's actions closely, concerned about the potential fallout of its alignment with terror.
Israel's resolve is clear: the fight against HAMAS is not just a battle against a terrorist faction but a broader campaign against a network of support extending to state actors. As Israel mourns its dead and fears for its abducted, the commitment to safeguarding its nation's security is unwavering, and those who stand with its enemies will be remembered. The message to Moscow and others who embolden HAMAS is unequivocal: Israel knows who stands behind the terrorists, and there will be a reckoning.
The article was prepared for publication by volunteers from the Res Publica - The Center for Civil Resistance.